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Late in 2018, the American Express® Gold Card tweaked its benefits to become an extremely solid rewards card that deserves a spot in many wallets, including mine. The card retained its annual $100 airline fee credit, doubled its earning rate at restaurants and US supermarkets to an impressive 4x points (up to $25,000; then 1x for the latter), introduced $120 in dining credits each calendar year, looks snazzy with a new metal design.

The Amex Gold has a public welcome bonus of 35,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months and an annual fee of $250 (See Rates & Fees). Based on TPG’s latest valuations, that bonus is worth $700. You can also try and get referred to the card by an existing card member for a potentially even sweeter bonus.

1. Claim Your Annual $100 Airline Fee Credit

One of the best perks of the Amex Gold is its annual $100 airline fee credit valid at one of nine different US airlines. Since you get this credit every calendar year, you can use it twice during your first year as a member, but you must first register for the airline of your choice. This credit gives you the potential for a $200 return in the first 365 days (so act quickly to get the 2018 credit). The airline fee credit can be used toward airline lounge passes, checked bag fees and much more.

Technically, you can’t purchase airline tickets or use the credit for gift cards or award taxes/fees; however, depending on how the airline codes your purchase, you may get reimbursed. I was just reimbursed for a $50 Delta e-gift card purchased using my Amex Gold using this link.

You can choose your airline while logged in to your Amex account under the “benefits” section as shown below. Note that while you’re technically limited to the airline you select for the entire calendar year, reports indicate that you might be able to change your selection by contacting customer service.

2. Enroll Card for the $120 Annual Dining Credit 

With the Amex Gold, you are eligible for up to $10 in monthly statement credits when you use card at participating dining partners. These partners include: Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House and participating Shake Shack locations. This statement credit functions similarly to the Saks credit on the Amex Platinum in that it isn’t allotted all at once, but is $120 spread out across the year in monthly installments. You need to enroll your card for this perk on the Amex site under “benefits,” so do that as soon as you get your new card.

3. Add Amex Gold as Payment With Seamless and Grubhub

If you use the food delivery services Seamless and Grubhub, be sure and set your payment card with them to the Amex Gold, not only to earn 4 points per dollar on on dining, but also to get the $10 per month statement credit at those eligible dining partners.

Closeup shot of a courier making a delivery to a customer (image by Getty Images / katleho Seisa)
Closeup shot of a courier making a delivery to a customer (image by Getty Images / katleho Seisa)

4. Memorize the New 4x Bonus Categories

The refreshed American Express Gold Card is sitting at the top of the pack for spending on both dining and at US supermarkets. The card earns 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on dining and on the first $25,000 spent annually at US supermarkets (then 1x, terms apply). These 4 points per dollar equal to an 8% return on spending based on our current valuations.

The card also earns 3 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, which isn’t bad, but isn’t our all-time favorite card for booking air travel.

Bottom Line

There aren’t as many tasks to complete when you get your new Amex Gold as there are when you get an Amex Platinum, but there are still at least four things to do in order to reap the maximum rewards.

For rates and fees of the Amex Gold Card, please click here.  

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American Express® Gold Card

With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at restaurants worldwide, at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com. It is currently offering a welcome bonus of 35,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points when you dine at restaurants worldwide. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X). Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
See Rates & Fees
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.